In a well contested game with both teams looking to play football, it was visitors who took the points with their greater ruthlessness the deciding factor.
Swifts started brightly and missed a great opportunity to take the lead when McDonald burst through behind the defence but hurried her shot which was smothered by the keeper.
Swifts were then to rue that miss when Carse found space on Swifts right and blasted home confidently.
Swifts responded in fine style within five minutes when McGinley collected a Maclean pass 30 yards out and hit a wonderful strike which found the top corner before the keeper had even moved.
Hearts in turn showed that they could respond to adversity and regained the lead when Anderson collect the ball 25 yards out and when she wasn’t closed down, didn’t waste any time in sending a great shot/lob which gave Cochran no chance.
The goal galvanised Hearts who then proceeded to move the ball well and stretch the home side.
Cochran in the home goal was beign tested and was responding well but was finally beaten five minutes before the break, when hesitancy between her and central defence allowed Smith to nip in and divert a cross from the right home.
HT: Swifts 1 Hearts 3
Swifts will have been disappointed with the HT result. They had competed well for parts of the half but had not shown it consistently enough and had allowed the talented Hearts side to dictate play and create a strong two-goal advantage.
Head Coach McCrindle looked for a more positive 2nd half and a desire to the all-important next goal.
Swifts response was impressive.
Playing with better intensity and more attacking intent Fox immediately caused problems down the right and then from a McIntyre cut-back saw her excellent snap-shot parried brilliantly. McDonald also went close and then the recently-introduced Todd broke through only to be denied again by the keeper’s brave challenge.
Swifts were now on the front foot and looking likely to reduce the advantage bit disaster struck when Leiper was short with a pass back and the ever-alert Carse nipped in to take the ball round Cochran and score.
To their credit Swifts never gave up and McIntyre showed great footwork at the edge of the box but screwed her shot past the pot with tiredness getting the better of the returning striker.
16yr-old Irvine was then introduced to make her senior debut and the young centre-back looked comfortable in her new surroundings. McCrindle then introduced another debutant in the form of 14yr-old Wolecki and she too showed some excellent attacking intent especially with a sharp one-two that almost set Todd free.
The game continue to go from end to end in entertaining fashion with the visitors closing out the victory.
FT Swifts 1 Hearts 4
Swifts will have been disappointed in allowing the game to get away from them before properly asserting themselves second half.
The visitors however deserve credit for the way they took their chances and the crispness and intensity of their passing and movement in the decisive first 45.
Swifts will have taken positivity in the way they responded second half and the introduction of more players from their youth ranks which has now seen 4 aged 14-16 blooded this season.
Coach McCrindle was in philosophical mood “It is never a good feeling to lose, so congratulations to Hearts on the victory. I’m not beating myself up about today’s defeat because I thought the performance was better than at Hamilton.
I think once everything has been stripped back and analysed there is plenty to take from today.
Bearing in mind that’s the 2 favourites we have played the last 2 games. We competed well with Hearts and created chances and our goal from Danni was special. We made a change to the system and 9 positional changes incl 3 players making their first starts of the season and also introduced 3 players from our U15s/17s. So these are all positives but overall plenty to work with going forward and we will continue to improve.
Reported by Jeanfield Swifts